Beyond the Light #Writephoto

copyright Sue Vincent

On my last day, the impenetrable rain finally clears, and my hostess suggests a walk. I’d rather stare out the window and wallow in my disappointment. But her enthusiasm won’t be thwarted, and I can’t very well blame her for the weather.

We venture through her back gate. A gray mist stalls between the trees’ black silhouettes, robbing me of a mere glimpse of blue sky. Spring has dawdled, and leafless twigs knit a dark filigree above the crooked boles. Only the mottled grass seems to have noticed the changing season, but it squishes beneath my feet and soaks my shoes.

I shove my hands in my pockets against the chill. “Is spring always this… dreary?”

My hostess chuckles. “It depends on your perspective.” She steps aside and beckons me to stand in her place.

I smile at her attempt at humor and comply. The morning sun casts rainbows in my eyes.

Gift my gloomy heart
Solace from expectations
Where darkness shelters
A new perspective beckons
In dawn’s awakening light

 

A haibun/tanka combo.

Thanks to Sue Vincent for the inspiring #Writephoto prompt.

In Conversation With “D.Wallace Peach” from “MythsOfTheMirror🐉” #AuthorInterview

Today’s my first full day back from my travels, and how lovely to kick off my return with an interview hosted by Himani, an avid blogger and writer. I’m closing comments here so I can hang out over there! I hope you stop by to say hi. 🙂

Books & Sstuff

Omigod! I am just so super excited to start with my Author Interview Series with one of my favourite Blogger (Myths of the Mirror) who is equally an awesome Fantasy writer. I personally like her more because she has helped me extract my (not-so-great, being humble☺) writing talent, hidden deep inside some dark corner of my heart❤ scared of coming out in front of the world😵

(Now the question in your mind would be) How she did that?🤔 Her monthly #writingprompts. If you haven’t participated yet, don’t forget to miss the next one.

I wanted to know more about her and then I thought the other Fantasy readers too, wanted that. So, here I am with this smashing Interview for you all to know more about none other than D.Wallace Peach.

SIh3zWgr_400x400

1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

First, Himani, I want to…

View original post 1,300 more words

At the Mirror: Andalusian Resurrection

I was browsing the beautiful site Short-Prose-Fiction and stumbled upon this gorgeous poem (one of many). I hope you enjoy it.

Andalusian Resurrection

by Short Prose Fiction

In Spain, the dead are more alive than the dead of any other country in the world.
Federico García Lorca

open your veins Andalusia
let him drink from your lynx blood
inject the rhythms of the flamenco
under the coldness of his eyes
tattoo his flesh with tiles of azurite
pour the sounds of castanets
into his arms
my fingers swirl
the flesh of ripened olives
covers the old shroud
the flow of blood from the white shirt…

(Continue Reading via Andalusian Resurrection)

7 Steps to a User-Friendly Blog

While I’m away, here’s an older but always a goodie, especially for new bloggers. Good luck!

This isn’t a new topic, but it seems worth a mention every now and then within the WordPress blog community. I love connecting with other bloggers and occasionally a website makes that hard if not impossible to do. Here are a few tips. 🙂

Definitely take a look at these if:

  • You are leaving likes, comments, or follows on other blogs and not getting return visits.
  • Everyone likes your old posts and seems to ignore your recent posts.
  • You’ve changed your blog address at any time (WP may still be directing your readers to the old deleted site!)

1. Make sure your links to your site are working. Unfortunately, this isn’t handled in just one place:

  • In your blog profile: Go to WP Admin – Users – My Profile. At the bottom of the page, make sure your website address is correct.
  • In your gravatar: Go to WP Admin – Users – My Profile. And at the top of the page, click on the tiny link that says, “edit your profile at gravatar.com.” Once in your gravatar profile, click on “Websites.” Be sure that your correct website address is listed. 
  • In WP Reader – this is important as it’s what points back to you when you leave likes and comments! Per WP Support, click on https://wordpress.com/me/account to get directly to your profile page. To get there the long way, open WP Reader. Click on Followed Sites and then on the little circle in the upper right-hand corner. Then select Account Settings and update your Web Address. 

2. Make navigation fool-proof. If readers can’t figure out how to get to new posts or the next/previous post, they aren’t going to stay long. This can happen for a number of reasons including the fact that WordPress sites have a lot of variation. The easiest way to handle this is to have a list of recent posts on your sidebar. Go to WP Admin – Appearance – Widgets. Then drag the box labeled “Recent Posts” to your sidebar.

3. Add a translate button. Readers probably won’t “like” or comment on a post they can’t read, right? And following becomes rather pointless. While you’re in Widgets, also slide over the button that says, “Google Translate: Translate to your language.” Sometimes a translate icon will appear in your taskbar, but not always. Adding this widget solves that problem.

4. Add a follow button. Also in Widgets, you’ll see a “Follow Button.” Slide that one over too. Sometimes a “Follow” will appears as a pop-up thingy in the corner of a post or it will appear after commenting, but not always. Make following as easy as clicking on a button.

5. Static Front Page versus Most Recent Post front page. One way to have followers engage easily with your most recent posts is to have those display when a reader visits your site. Go to WP Admin – Settings – Reading Settings. Set your “Front Page Display” to “Your Latest Posts.”

If you elect to have a static front page – which may make perfect sense for your blog – be sure that readers can access your recent posts by clicking on a menu item named “Blog Posts” or something similar. Make it easy. If readers have to hunt through all your menu headings for something new, they may give up after a few tries.

6. Speed up your blog. I follow a couple blogs that are slow, slow, slow to load, and they tend to bog down the whole system. I can barely scroll, and the little wheely-thing spins and spins and spins. I click “like” and close the site as fast as possible. This is because your blog is trying to load every page of every post you’ve ever written, ever, all at once. Go to WP Admin – Settings – Reading Settings. Where it says “Blog pages show at most” enter 10. Your readers will love you and stick around longer.

7. Make commenting easy. If you make your readers jump through three hoops to comment on your blog, they usually won’t. I recently read a post from someone complaining that no one commented. I tried to leave a comment explaining why no one was commenting, but it was so hard, I gave up. Go to WP Admin – Settings – Discussion Settings, and take a look at “Other Comment Settings.” Unless you have a specific reason for doing otherwise, I would not recommend making a reader fill out name and email, or even worse, register and log in. If you are worried about trolls, look at some of the options further down the Discussion Settings page for moderating comments.

I hope this helps you get lots of visits and follows and blogosphere friends. Happy Blogging!

At the Mirror: Foxtrot in the kitchen

I used to share some of my favorite posts from other bloggers. Then my speculative fiction prompt took over my blog! I’m taking advantage of my current travels to share some favorites.

My friend from Li’l Place posted this one almost a year ago and then took a blogging break for about 6 months. I hung onto it, and now that she’s returned, I finally get to share this beautiful piece of writing. Enjoy.

Foxtrot in the Kitchen

by L’il Place

It is the most wonderful thing when a memory catches up with one unexpectedly.  Maybe it’s the balmy summer night air or maybe it’s the sight of a box of waffle ice cream cones that sat unopened on my kitchen counter top.  But, I found myself pulled into a dance that took place half a lifetime ago.

When I just started working, I had rented a room from a landlady.  To keep her privacy, I will call her Mrs. C.  There was no a/c in her old but cozy house and it was a particularly humid and hot summer.   We would open up the windows and run the fans to their max to try dispel the heat.  My favorite place in that house was her kitchen.  I would watch her cook many hearty, delicious Italian meals which she shared with me most generously.  In fact,  she was the one who introduced me to white clam linguine.  Before that, I had foolishly thought that all pasta dishes were doused in tomato sauce.  She called the white clam linguine the easiest pasta dish to prepare and thanks to her, I have prepared it many times for my own family.  Dinners with her and her husband, Mr. C, were always followed by ice cream cones…

(Continue reading: Foxtrot in the kitchen)

A review of Nabatea that almost made me cry

Andrea blogged my review of Book 3 in her Innerscape Series. She’s one of my favorite sci-fi authors. This series is worth checking out for sure. (I’m still in the midst of moving my parents, so I’ve closed comments once again. Two more weeks and all will be back to normal. 🙂 )

Meeka's Mind

Forgive me if I reproduce this review in its entirety, but as a pantster, it’s validation of a sort I never expected to get: 

Oooh, I loved this series, and now that it’s over, I’m suffering from a book hangover.

Nabatea is the final book in the Innerscape series. Book 1 primarily introduces the main character Miira Tahn and guides the reader through her entrance into the virtual world of Innerscape. During Book 2, sabotage, scheming, and political intrigue results in multiple victims including two people close to Miira. In Book 3, the search for truth commences and resolves amidst a cover-up that threatens Miira’s life.

The plot takes off quickly when Miira is confronted with disturbing information about the murders, and her prying questions raise alarms among those who want to hide the truth. A plot to silence her brings in two dedicated investigators who start gathering clues and…

View original post 210 more words